Lurie divorce to give Sixers billionaire bragging rights

Posted: July 11, 2012

Divorce is bound to knock Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie off Forbes' billionaires list.

With a current net worth estimated at $1.1 billion, he'll be booted from that exclusive club if wife Christina gets any kind of healthy share.

But Philadelphia will still have one owner of a local team with 10-digit wealth, the Sixers' Joshua Harris.

His worth was estimated in March at $1.6 billion, landing him at No. 804 among the richest people in the world, No. 286 in the United States, according to Forbes.

Harris, who lives in New York, graduated from Penn's Wharton School and has family in the Philadelphia area.

Not that he's as heavily invested here as Lurie.

Harris is the main face of Sixers ownership, but a dozen others also have a stake, including West Philly rapper turned movie actor, Will Smith, and his wife, Jada. The group bought the team from Comcast last July for a reported $280 million.

Harris made his fortune as a private equity investor, co-founding Apollo Global Management, where he's senior managing director.

He's not the only billionaire with area ties to explore sports ownership. (See gallery of "local" billionaires at http://goo.gl/4KWuG.)

West Chester-born Norman Braman, who bought the Eagles for $65 million and sold them to Lurie for $195 million, has built a fortune worth $1.6 billion largely through auto dealerships and art collecting, according to Forbes.

Wharton grad Steve Cohen, worth an estimated $8.3 billion as of March, bought a small piece of the New York Mets, bid unsuccessfully for a major share of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and was rumored as a possible suitor for the San Diego Padres. Forbes called the founder of Connecticut-based SAC Capital "a hedge fund titan and one of the most powerful forces in equity trading."

The Dodgers, by the way, wound on the block because of a bitter divorce. The Luries jointly said they won't have problems as business partners running the Eagles.

Lehigh University grad Roger Penske, who turned an auto racing career into a fortune beginning with a Philly Chevy dealership, owns Penske Racing, which competes at NASCAR and IndyCar events. He was worth an estimated $1.1 billion, according to Forbes.

Also, Wharton grad Donald Trump owned the New Jersey Generals franchise in the United States Football League in the 1980s.


Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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